By Brett Dudley
Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Antioch High School (CA)
In our offense, the tunnel screen is a WR screen that we throw opposite of a run fake. We primarily ran this off of our stretch action (to get the most flow from the defense), but also experimented it off of power, to use the pulling guard to influence LBs. We would fully fake one direction and throw the screen back to the other side.
As a general rule for the offensive line, we will block the run called for the first 3 steps then work to release flat down the line of scrimmage. Their rules are as follows:
- The first lineman to release looks out to kick out the first person out of the box.
- The 2nd OL to release works to lead up through the alley.
- The 3rd OL to release looks back in for anyone chasing the screen down from inside (often called a “rat killer”).
This general eye progression of “out-up-in” progression is used in all of our screen game, so the line has a set of rules (Out, Up, In) they can follow as they release down the line of scrimmage (LOS) in any of our screens.
Coaching the Receivers
The receiver getting the football will work 3 steps vertically trying to sell a vertical route. The goal is to get the corner backpedaling. If the corner is pressed up on him, the receiver must be physical and push off to create separation. Since the pass is caught behind the line of scrimmage, there is no pass interference, so he must get the corner off of him by any means necessary. Once the 3rd step is planted, he will pivot and retrace his route stem, working back through where he lined up, and retracing back to the QB just inside of the LOS. Once he catches the ball, we try to get them to turn up inside of the tackle or “first man out’s” block, usually this is where the “tunnel” begins to be formed.